Friday, March 21, 2014

Tug Of Love For The Greater Good

Suddenly life changes and nothing is the same; but everything is just how you remember leaving it. And somehow you love even more than you thought you could; as you stand there, looking around, wondering where you were, and how you missed it. 

That's how real life works. We as adults/parents, think when we take the time to have conversations with our children, that they’re listening.
 We think that when we have "the talk" with our children, they’re absorbing what we’re saying and that they care; and we badly want to believe, they’re going to do as we say and follow our wishes. 

Even as we’re having that talk, and saying to them, "I'm not stupid enough to think I can stop you"; in the back of our minds; we do think we can stop those irresponsible actions with our words, so I don't even know why we bother to say that. Who are we fooling? Ourselves; that's who we're fooling. 

I've seen so many instances of children proving their parents wrong, as in "my child would never do that, he/she knows better" or "I know exactly where and what my child is doing".  I'm telling you right now; you're wrong if you really think those things.  Once they’re in that car, driving or riding, pulling out of your drive-way, you don't know anything. You can hope that where they told you they were going is where they went. You can hope what they said they were doing, is what they did; but you don't know. 

The best of children will stray from the boundaries you have set. The most trusted of children will succumb to peer pressures. And the most sensible of children will get caught up in the notion of love and make wrong choices.

Let me put this in perspective; everywhere you turn, there are adults who don’t make the right decisions. Grown people; wives and husbands who get caught up in feelings and forget everything they were ever taught was right; who somehow forget in the heat of the moment, where they’re supposed to be, and what they’re supposed to be doing. Adults/parents who may or may not be leading by good examples. So how in the world we expect these young, innocent people to behave differently, just because we said so; I have no idea.

If you think the talk needs to happen; there’s no inappropriate age or limit on common sense and preventing a possible negative life altering event.  Having those talks isn't condoning, it’s showing that you care, that you’re there for them and hoping they understand they can talk to you about ANYTHING. Once the lies, deceit and sneaking start, you’re already behind. They've got a leg up on you, they’re younger and move much faster.

It's a daily job to stay connected, aware and to never assume, never get too comfortable. I still haven’t figured out exactly when our job as parents is done. I’ll have to get back with you on that. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Spring Break, Spring Fever!

I think it's the sunshine; it just does something for you. It’s a medical fact that sunshine is the best healer for sad souls, broken hearts, and physical sickness. Just think about the cold /rainy /cloudy days, and how your mental state changes the minute you open your eyes. Seeing the darkness, hearing the rain, every fiber of your being wants to pull the covers back over your head and disappear. It’s so much easier to get out of bed when the sun is shining.

The best part of spring forward when I was growing up was that school was almost over; Spring Break/Summer Time!! I grew up in Albany, Georgia and the closest piece of heaven was Radium Springs; just a mile from my house. The water came from a natural spring so it was ice cold, and when you came out of the water, there was never any warmer feeling in the world, than the sun shining on your purple, goose-bumped body.

My friends and I would lie out in the sun, white as snow, slathering baby oil mixed with iodine because it tans faster, BURNS faster; because we knew we had one week to achieve a show stopper tan. Running combs wet with peroxide through your hair to 'sun streak' it’ because mama says no hair color; but this you can do when you're lying out in the sun and maybe she won't notice. 

Halter tops, shorts, walking to the store on the dirt trail for a Coca Cola Icee. Talking about boys, who's cute, who's not; who we really wish liked us and who we really wish wouldn't talk to us at all. Picking out the perfect bathing suit, one that doesn't make you “feel” or look fat; and if you were like me, the one that helped make you look “fuller” in some places and “smaller” in others. “That bathing suit shows too much hip” Mama would say; which was a nice way of saying too much of your behind was showing.

Staying outside ‘til almost dark, walking around the block with your best friend talking about everything and nothing and when it's time to go home, you walk each other half way; so each of you only have to go half way back alone.

Spring Break brings different joys for me now. Early morning fishing and watching the sun come up, standing in our yard with my husband in the early evenings holding a hose, watering dirt that will become flowers and talking about our day. But I still love watching my son and his friends piling up, buying food, loading boats with plenty of swim trunks in tow; headed out to make their own memories. Memories filled with sights and smells that will bring flashbacks of their own for years to come.

I saw a billboard the other day that expressed my feelings about this time of the year so perfectly, “Spring is here! I’m so excited I wet my plants!”

Saturday, March 1, 2014

When Words Are Music, Oh, What A Song They Sing

I woke up this morning, laid there and thought, "Please leave me be, please go away, I am NOT going to get up today!" I stepped out onto the floor, and it began; "Left foot, right foot, feet, feet, feet, how many feet do you meet?" I knew, no matter what, "The time has come, the time is now, you can go by foot or you can go by cow, but Michelle M. Mims (Marvin K. Mooney) will you please go now?"

What a beautiful man Theodor Seuss Geisel must have been, for nothing but beautiful thoughts and sing song rhymes seemed to run through his mind. His only intention, his only joy, was to make children laugh and smile. To make children love listening to his words, so much that they would want to do nothing but read or to be read to. He wanted them to experience the glorious magic of every day words. For once those words were put together in a flowing rhythm; they appeared to be nothing short of words without music. ♫ I love my house, I love my nest, in all the world, my nest is best ♫

I read his books to my boys before they ever entered this world, and again, until they were old enough to read themselves; infusing voices, expressions, sound effects and laughter through every story and every word.

A resounding thank you to the man who brought rainbows, duck feet, trips to the zoo, children jumping on bear tummies, horses called Robert, and balls that cannot be caught. He brought us all of those things and so much more with color, pizazz, love and laughter. His magical words rolled out of his mind and onto pages; words spoken with musical notes. Pages accompanied by colorful pictures to capture the attention of little eyes. Elegant, gracefully placed verbiage, that entertained to the highest degree of pleasure. 

He brought thousands of hours of joy to me and my children. If it were up to me, his birthday would be a National Holiday. We would fly the flags in every city at half-mast. We would shut down all the businesses for a day. And march. March down the streets of every small town and big city, reciting his words out loud, at the top of our lungs.

Every school in the nation would do nothing all day but read his books out loud in the class rooms. We would read, read, read, all day long. Until all the laughter in the streets, the schools and the world reached his ears in heaven. And hopefully, we could in turn, bring him the same joy he has brought all of us for years and years and years.

Dr Suess, you are the OTHER love of my life. Bless your genius mind and your passionate heart. Happy Birthday and love from us all. I’ll bet story-time in heaven is packed on the day it’s your turn to read; may your words live on forever.